Archive for the ‘Leadership Essentials’ category

Top 5 Mistakes Managers Make When Leading Their Teams in Problem Solving

December 28, 2008

Over the past few Saturdays, I had been conducting a series of trainings for the management team of a multi-national corporation. In this training, “Communication and Problem Solving Skills for Leaders”, I focused on getting the leaders in the company to be able to converse well and lead their team to solve various work and life problems.

Of course, as we all know, life is never a piece of cake nor a walk in the park. What’s never ending are the problems, obstacles and issues that crop up now and then. Some are within anticipation, while others hid themselves to sting as the most unexpected moment.

Many managers and leaders were thus left in the dark or at a loss of what to do.

Hence, for this particular article, I would like to highlight on 5 of the most common mistakes that were made when the team is being led to resolve the problems. It will obviously be wise to steer clear of them and they serve as a reminder to avoid committing them.

These top 5 mistakes made by managers are:

1. The manager does not know the problems and he is unable to define them well.

2. The manager has no clear resolution steps formulated with the team.

3. The manager allows the presence of internal bickering and too much politicking.

4. The manager has tasks allocated to the wrong person.

5. The manager has overly unrealistic demands without fair consideration.

(Source: wekie.com)

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Understanding The Art Of Building Communities: What Really Matters In Fostering Unity Among Your Social Groups

December 1, 2008

In the previous mid-week was another insightful training where I was training the government leaders on “Building Communities”. This allowed the leaders-managers to better implement policies, steps and strategies to bring about unity to the citizens, the public as well as their own workplace departments.

Men, being social creatures, do not operate alone. So long as they have to interact, communities and network will be formed. The evolvement of groups towards something useful and purposeful will thus always remain a major exercise for the leadership at hand.

Being a Sociology major, I was extremely pleased that my education and knowledge can be put to good use. We explored the key concepts in how human beings interact and the dynamics where social groupings are formed. My other major, Economics, contributed strongly to our analysis of the coming trends in Singapore and its living standards. Topping it off with a Psychological spin, we are off to a more positive direction in shaping our societies and lifestyles.

To make building your communities more relevant and accomplishable, consider the following essentials:

1. Decipher the local culture and its underlying meanings.

2. Predict the future trends for this community of yours.

3. Analyze the changes needed and the steps that must be taken.

4. Make sure these changes move in continuum with the receptivity of the social groups and trends evolvement.

5. Gauge the unity and happiness levels of its citizens.

*** Related article: How You Can Build Better Communities? 8 Steps For Effective Policy Implementation To The Masses

(Source: wekie.com)

When The Boss Speaks: How Should You, The Management, Make A Speech So Your Staffs Will Listen. (7 Proven Pointers To Guide You Through)

November 22, 2008

As long as you are holding the managerial position, you will eventually find yourself having to give talks to your staffs. By default of the fact that you are a manger or a leader, you have to deal with people. Whenever it comes to working with others, relationships, emotions, opinions come into the picture. You cannot avoid this. It’s all part of the art of working together.

Whenever I coach the managers and top executives individually or in a group, I help them to better craft their speeches to further appeal to their staffs. I call this “Leadership and Management Talk”. After all, the power of public speaking by leaders can never be discounted. They should never be taken lightly at all.

Think of how the US President-elect Barack Obama triumphed in the recent Presidential Election and won the massive numbers of voters over with his power of eloquence, thrilling and inspiring the audience in the process.

Should you work on these forms of leadership talk, I’m sure you will benefit greatly as a result. It will absolutely augur well for you as a manager, a leader, or both.

Therefore when you, the boss, speak, consider the following pointers:

1. The speech is really about them. When your staffs are willing to work well as a result of your speech, then can the company take off.

2. Keep your points smooth and flowing. Make it easy to listen to, absorb and understand what you want them to know.

3. Avoid mixing up the issues and over interfacing them with multiple layers of problematic discussions. Focus on one point at a time, please.

4. In your speech, let them know that you do care for their wellbeing, really. And show full sincerity.

5. Raise examples from their own job situations, instead of asking them to understand yours. People usually see from their own points, not others.

6. Include an avenue where they can see or air their views with you. Remember, outlet, outlet, outlet. People need a channel for let go and to give out emotional concerns.

7. Conclude with an uplifting note. Every staff in his company wants to know that the future of the company is secure, hence so is his job. Even if you have to let some of them go, show them another better future.

(Source: wekie.com)

The 5 Key Dynamics You Must Pay Attention To When You Communicate And Solve Problems With Your Team

November 17, 2008

A quick check with my schedule indicated that the past few days were absolutely packed with various trainings. The pace of living a life as a public speaker, trainer and consultant has picked up tremendously over the years. To me, this is somewhat a sign of the growing need and recognition for Professional Excellence trainings, speaking engagements and personal consultations as well as an increase in the participants’ willingness to upgrade themselves.

No longer is it possible to just be contented with fundamental technical skills, the soft skills aspects are now the essentials. It’s not just the norm, but it’s so necessary that even companies are demanding that their staffs know how to build better relationships with quality communication. This is even more so when problems abound at work, and, to a fair degree, exist in their personal lives.

Hence just 2 days ago, on Saturday, I completed Day 2 of the “Communication and Problem Solving for Leaders” training. In this customized in-house workshop for that multi-national cooperation, I explored with the leader-participations the range of key dynamics in leading people via effective communication, resulting in better ways to solve work problems and issues.

I also made sure that these learning points were easy and quick to apply with fast results. When the participants gave their input, I was highly delighted when they integrated the communication concepts into their demonstrations.

Taking it further, some of the key dynamics that you must pay attention to whenever you are communicating with your team to solve problems include:

1. The Agreement on the values and ultimate outcome or objectives of the project.

2. The Acceptance of the ground rules during the exploration of the issues and the discussion of the problems.

3. The Understanding of the flow of the problem solving model and process.

4. The Willingness to suspend personal biasness and let go of the limitations in perceptions.

5. The Intention to cooperate with each other in working towards resolving the problems.

(Source: wekie.com)

How To Integrate Leadership Communication Into Your Interaction With People

November 9, 2008

I completed the first segment of the training yesterday with a sense of satisfaction. Although it was Saturday, I was glad the participant-leaders were able to be dedicating their time to better themselves. After all, this course “Communication and Problem Solving for Leaders” was specifically customized for them.

We had a fair bit of in-depth discussion on what it meant for a leader to communicate. I call this “Leadership Communication”. The participants understood that the manners and style of communication were also very much affected by the leader’s personality. Hence, I was pleased when the leaders were able to integrate the various concepts into their practice.

When we explored the concepts of leadership communication, we also derived various ways of displaying them at work.

Here are some of them:

1. Understand how your staffs prefer to interact and communicate.

2. Discuss with them your corporate goals with values and how you are going to lead them to fulfill these objectives.

3. Seek to inspire them by communicating trust in their capabilities.

4. Remember that one key element of communication is listening, active listening.

5. Let your staff know that you understand them by communicating with empathy and your willingness to adopt possible, workable ideas.

(Source: wekie.com)

5 Relevant Reframes To Help You Reframe Your Problems

November 1, 2008

One of the most common encounters I have in my trainings is that I get asked with regard to how to solve problems. And these problems placed before me range from work-place issues, career conflicts, personal motivation blockages, social and romantic relationship queries, marital concerns, life threatening obstacles and the likes. It’s always refreshing and an useful brain exercise in quick thinking to guide them in reframing these problems.

Yesterday’s training “Reframing Problems Into Opportunities” dealt specifically with resolving problems itself. The participants opened up to share and we take another look into how problems can be perceived differently. Lots of interesting cases were thrown up, examined, diagnosed and possible future were presented to them. It was most mentally stimulating indeed.

Hence, here are some of the relevant reframes we discussed. When employed, they will enable you to better reframe your problems.

1. Everything you read, encounter and experience is an attempt at reframing the problems in your life.

2. See them as issues and situations, rather than as problems.

3. Understand that for every issue, there are at least 2 sides of the coins.

4. You can choose, if you choose to. Therefore, choose to choose first.

5. The key lies in the solutions you have, not the problems you are having.

(Just a quick point to add: If the problems in your life get too overwhelming or unbearable, please get a coach or mentor now. Talk to him or her immediately. Time is of the essence.)

(Source: wekie.com)

When Your Negotiation Gets Tougher: 5 Ways To Turn The Tables In Your Favor

October 12, 2008

Two days ago, I wrapped up another session of the very rigorous “Effective Negotiation Skills” training. This training on Negotiation directly addresses the urgent needs of today’s working professionals regarding their personal lives and work careers. Checking on my schedule and bookings, there are already more runs of Negotiation training on the cards in the coming weeks.

It is often likely that the negotiation and the flow of communication will get tougher before it gets better. In this case, fret not. (You better fret not.)

Here are some of the ways to turn the tables in your favor:

1. Always remain steadfast whenever the situation gets tougher.

2. Clear your mind of negativity. You cannot afford to have these thoughts at all, certainly not at this moment.

3. Listen out for the incongruence in the other party’s communication. These provide clues to the ‘cracks’ on their stand.

4. Highlight to increase or decrease their values as your bargaining chips. The more of such ‘chips’ you have, the better your position is.

5. Get the firm assurance and commitment. A nodding of head will not suffice.

(Source: wekie.com)